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21 MARCH, 2023


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Good morning โ˜€๏ธ

More layoffs have been announced.

Yesterday, e-commerce behemoth Amazon announced that it’s laying off 9,000 more employees in the coming weeks.

This is the third round of layoffs from the company. In November 2022, Amazon cut about 10,000 jobs, and followed that in January 2023 with another round of 8,000 cuts. This latest round will affect its AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch departments. 

This brings its total number of job cuts to 27,000.

According to CEO Andy Jassy, the company is streamlining costs and preparing for the “uncertainty that exists in the future”, an uncertainty which apparently doesn’t include salary cuts for its management. 

This also comes a few days after Meta announced that it would be laying off an additional 10,000 workers after the 11,000+ workers it laid off in November 2022.




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Name of the coin

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Source: CoinMarketCap

* Data as of 06:20 AM WAT, March 21, 2023.

Cardano’s Adaverse has completed a strategic investment in Ejara, a Cameroonian woman-led DeFi platform. TechCabal reports that the investment will help Ejara improve the economic opportunities for over 400 million people, especially the unbanked, unemployed youths and women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa-focused VLC firm Verod-Kepple VC has raised $43 million, with backing from Japan’s SBI Holdings and Toyota Tsusho Corp. Nodo News reports that the fund, named Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV), will back entrepreneurs working hard to solve the continent’s issues while supporting collaboration between African startups and Japanese strategic partners.

Microsoft Edge is reportedly working on an in-app Web3 wallet integration. CoinTelegraph reports that a software developer leaked the upgrade by sharing screenshots showing the supposed Edge user interface (UI).

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B2B e-commerce startup Zumi is shutting down due to its inability to raise the funding necessary to sustain its operations. This shutdown will see the company lay off its team of 150 people who have previous work experience from companies like SpaceX, Amazon, Twiga, and Jumia. 


This is not Zumi’s first shutdown. It began as a women-focused digital magazine in 2016, but it shut down shortly after disclosing its plans to pivot to e-commerce because it was struggling with low digital advertisement revenue.

A Zumi comeback

Zumi’s shop didn’t remain closed for too long. It came back in 2020 as a B2B e-commerce company that empowers retailers and suppliers. Zumi handled everything; it facilitated the online sale/purchase of the product, delivery, and payment. Zuri achieved over $20 million in sales and acquired 5,000 customers.

According to Crunchbase, Zumi has received disclosed investments of about $970,000 since its inception in 2016. This shutdown adds to the list of Kenyan startups that have shut down citing macroeconomic problems. Kenyan startups Kune Foods, Notify Logistics, and WeFarm, all shut down last year

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A South African high court has ruled in favour of Vodacom in a case against the South African Police Service (SAPS).

In November 2022, Vodacom sued the police service for ending a 20-year contract and selecting MTN instead.

Backstory: Over the past 20 years, Vodacom has been the preferred mobile operator and network service provider for the South African police. 

The two-decade-long deal came to an end last year when SAPS awarded MTN the cellular contract. MTN was set to receive about R20 million ($1.2 million) per month to provide SAPS officials with services varying from voice minutes and uncapped data plans, to mobile phones and modems. 

In the lawsuit, Vodacom asked the courts to review the contract and nullify the deal. The telco claimed that the SAPS review committee misunderstood the data it submitted.

According to Vodacom, both MTN and Vodacom have different ways of reporting network availability and coverage. Vodacom reported that it has 99.9% network availability in South Africa at all times except during load shedding when the rate drops to 86%. MTN, on the other hand, reported that it has 99.1% but failed to account for load shedding.

Vodacom, in the suit, claimed that the SAPS review committee mistook its load-shedding network availability percentage—at 86%—for its normal network availability percentage at 99.9%. In its response, SAPS supported the decision of its review committee, claiming that Vodacom had submitted network availability figures instead of the network coverage figures the committee requested.

And now?

The South African court has ruled that SAPS did, in fact, misunderstand the difference between network availability and network coverage.

Judge Molahleni ruled that MTN’s contract had been unlawfully awarded and had to be reviewed.

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Chari founders Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat

B2B e-commerce startup Chari has been distributing fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) digitally and now they’re branching out with a chain of B2B stores. 

Traditional store owners in Morocco use Chari to place online orders for goods to sell. Chari delivers the goods to their shop as soon as possible, and sometimes the store owners go pick them up at terminals at their earliest convenience.

Per Disrupt Africa, Chari has expanded into Tunisia and the Côte d’Ivoire. They’re launching their new chain of stores in Casablanca and El Jadida and they have 98 stores to go before reaching their goal of 100 by 2024.

Investors have been making bets on the startup every year since 2021. Chari raised a $5 million seed round towards the end of 2021. In 2022, it secured further investment in January, and in February 2023, it raised an additional $1 million from Orange Ventures.

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South African neobank Fin has acquired fintech startup Thuthukani. It has already renamed Thuthukani’s housing finance offering to Fin Home Loans. Fin Home Loans gives middle- to lower-income customers access to affordable finance, and Fin is adding it to its South African portfolio. 

That was fast

Don’t worry, the founder of Thuthukani, Mark Seymour, is happy to be assimilated into Fin’s ranks. In fact, both sides seem to be equally thrilled. Seymour said he’s excited to explore all the synergies within the wider portfolio, which is corporate speak for “let’s take over the world together”.

Zoom out: Fin used to be called Finclusion Group, and it raised $22 million to build Africa’s first credit-led neobank. So Fin is just as good at convincing people to give them their cash as they are at convincing people to sell them their companies. Well, good for Fin because it needs all the money it can get to be the trusted provider for all financial needs on the continent that it aims to be.

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Here’s a list of all the Twitter Spaces we’ll be holding to celebrate our 10th-year anniversary.

  • March 21—Meet the team telling African tech stories that matter. TechCabal captures the players, human impact and business of tech in Africa. We provide the content, reporting, data, and context to help the world understand how tech is changing Africa. Who are the journalists doing all of this important work? Find out here.
  • March 23—What is the future of tech in Africa? In the last 10 years, the African tech ecosystem has evolved quickly. We know this firsthand at TechCabal. What does the future look like? Join us for an insightful conversation with Ola Brown, Stephen Deng, Hope Ditlhakanyane, and Ngozi Dozie where we answer these questions. Set a reminder here
  • March 30—The role of the media in covering African tech. How can the media help Africa’s developing tech ecosystem? What responsibility does the media owe the ecosystem, and what can the media expect in return? Should the media only cover the good stories? Find out here.


The Next Wave: The hard limits of retail digitalisation in Africa. 

The revolution will be tweeted: How Twitter is driving the #NationalShutdown in South Africa


  • The Jasiri Talent Investor Programme is looking for highly driven individuals with a history of achievement and/or entrepreneurial action who aspire to launch a high-growth venture. Apply by April 23.
  • The Growth Africa Accelerator Programme is calling for applications from ambitious and committed entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia or Ghana with the potential to grow and create impact through their businesses. Apply now.
  • The HiiL Justice Accelerator Programme is now open for applications from Kenyan startups with solutions that help people resolve their legal problems. Eight selected startups will receive $10,000 in equity-free funding as well as the chance to win up to $21,000 on Demo Day. Apply by March 31.
  • Google has announced that the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is now accepting applications from Black founders across the African continent. Apply by March 26.
  • The Africa Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition, a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, is calling for participation from Africa’s entrepreneurial talent. Apply by May 12.
  • Dream VC has announced that it’s now open for its Launch Into VC (LIVC) and Invest Accelerator programmes. Junior professionals keen on breaking into the investor space can apply for LIVC to get a carefully curated investor talent accelerator led by existing venture builders. Senior professionals should apply for its Investor Accelerator 2023 Programme where future investment leaders and ecosystem builders will be upskilled. Apply for LIVC and Investor Accelerator Programme by April 16.


Written by – Timi Odueso & Ngozi Chukwu

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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